Bradley’s Almanac

Remembering Burlingtonitus

Posted on April 15, 2004 at 11:20 am | No Comments

It was 10 years ago this weekend that my friend Colin and I put on the first annual Burlingtonitus independent music fest.

In April 1994, Burlington, Vermont was crawling with jam-band spawn (crunchy-hippy bands and the college kids who loved them), so our fest was really an excuse to bring indie bands we knew and loved to town, to share stages with ’em, and to have friends come out for a weekend-long party. More than a dozen bands over two days at 242 Main (the local non-profit teen center), all ages invited, and five bucks a show. It was strictly for fun, about as far from a money making venture as it coulda been. If we were lucky, the bands would get a little more than gas money… the further they drove, the more we tried to give ’em.

It was really a fest of necessity; doing it ourselves was the was the only way to see some of these bands without driving for hours. We naively hoped to kick off a trend, maybe bring some of the (imagined?) indie kids outta their rooms, get people motivated to put on their own shows, maybe get a few new bands to add our little town to future tour schedules. To a fairly minor degree, that actually happened for awhile.

Even though the people in the bands occasionally outnumbered the crowd, the first fest was such a success that we ended up hosting three more of ’em (in ’95, ’96, and ’98), growing a bit to include more invitees and other clubs. Friends were made, stories were shared, but mostly, lots of pretty great live music was played for receptive ears. We owe a lot of the fest’s success to the support of the staff at WRUV, the UVM radio station where you’d find me between classes, and to CKUT, the McGill station that helped spread the word to all the Montreal kids that drove an hour and a half south for our little indie experiment. We also couldn’t have pulled it off without the labels who sent bands our way (Sonic Bubblegum, Pop Narcotic, Harriet Records, the Proteen guys, Teenbeat), and all the bands who liked the thing enough to play more than once (the Stand GT, Chisel/Ted Leo, Tulips, the Van Pelt, Tizzy, Tugboat Annie, the Smiles, and more).

Here are the complete lineups for all four Burlingtonitus fests …

(Naturally, I couldn’t find links for all of these, so I tried to reference a related artist, a review, or another download)


Burlingtonitus One

Friday & Saturday, April 15th & 16th, 1994 at 242 Main

New Radiant Storm King, Tuscadero, Rollercoaster, Pest 5000, Driver UFO, Morning Glories, the Stand GT, Snowplow, Buddy Sevaris, Madelines, Chisel, the Smiles, Yum Yum Tree, Tulips, Green Magnet School, and other random guests


Burlingtonitus Two

Friday, April 21st, 1995 at Club Toast: the Stand GT, Tuscadero, Pest 5000, Eef, Tizzy

Saturday, April 22nd at 242 Main: Tulips, Yum Yum Tree, Blast Off Country Style, huffy, Tugboat Annie

Sunday, April 23rd at Club Metronome: Chisel, the Van Pelt, Radio to Saturn, Madelines, Buddy Sevaris, the Smiles, and Sleepcrash


Burlingtonitus Three

Friday, April 19th to 21st, 1996 at Club Toast

Sugar Plant, Pirate Jenny, Babe the Blue Ox, Saturnine, Lindy Pear, Daviess County Panthers, the Van Pelt, Tugboat Annie, Catapult, Me Jane, the Smiles, Tizzy, Starlight Conspiracy, Scrap Douglas, Soup Sandwich, The Stand GT, Goldfish, and Gladly


Burlingtonitus Four

Friday, April 24th, 1998 at 242 Main: Syrup USA, the Fan Modine, Sarge, the Wicked Farleys

Saturday, April 25th at Club Toast: the Stand GT, the Sin Eaters, the Four Color Manual, Pilot to Gunner, the Parcels

Sunday, April 26th at Club Metronome: My Own Sweet, Victory at Sea, the Swimmer, Stupid Club, Jumprope


To mark this little tenth anniversary, I’ve dusted off and digitized some old unreleased live recordings from the first two years. I tried to pick the best stuff, and though they vary quite a bit in quality, I hope some of the spirit behind them comes across. I had such a good time digging through ’em…

  • Blast Off Country StyleButtercup / Cutie Pie – Probably the only Burlingtonitus band with coordinated rock-wear, B.O.C.S. brought their Teenbeat bounce-pop all the way from D.C. just for us. Even though Cutie Pie is a little loose, I put it up here just for Colin. You’ll hear why.
  • Buddy SevarisMy Girlfriend is an Astronaut – Along with Driver UFO, these guys were Philly’s ambassadors to Burlingtonitus, part of the Proteen records crew. (note: unfortunately this song has some really nasty, super-loud digital fuzz in a bunch of spots, so i’ll spare you the ear damage… if i can find the original, i’ll post it later on.)
  • ChiselHip Straights – Wow, was I ever blown away by these guys. Ted Leo, Chris Norborg, & John Dugan. Colin would always say, about random bands he’d invite, “I’m friends with them and they’ll totally play and they’re great!”, but I’d take that last bit with a grain of rock-salt. Well, Colin was never more right than he was with Chisel. I’ve been a fan of Ted’s since the first time I saw him on stage, and this song is just one of the reasons why.
  • HuffyCarry – Tim, Jeff, & Nate. These guys, along with our own bands, happily played for free, hoping to help bring in more kids so we could pay the travellers. Not that we were huge draws, right? It’s the thought that counts.
  • Lindy PearI Could Say Anything – At least I think that’s the name of that song. I’d have to dig out my old tapes to be sure. For the ongoing adventures of singer Craig Gurwich, check out Summer at Shatter Creek.
  • MadelinesBlemishColin, Kurt, Pat, & Scott, batting cleanup at Burlingtonitus 2. Ah, the early days. “Wooden Lips with a Kickstand.” This recording is so damn good. Glad I found it.
  • New Radiant Storm KingPhone Call – What a great band. I’m really psyched to find out they got a singles/rarities collection coming out later this month. Peyton now plays with the Pernice Brothers.
  • Pest 5000Cold Feet – I’m such a sucker for violin in my pop-rock. Across the border from Montreal, Pest played the first and second Burlingtonitus fests. This recording is from the second one.
  • Radio to Saturn(We’re Sorry) – I actually don’t know the name of this one, but the made-up title fits once you get to the end. It’s ok, RtS, we forgive you.
  • the Stand GTMary’s Favorite Number – Straight outta Ontario, my Canadian pals, Chris, Doug, Colin, Wally, & eternal roadie Johnny McBean. Had some of the best times ever hangin’ with these genuinely great guys. Thankfully, Chris is still making music, so give a look and listen. We really have to get together one-a these days, Chris.
  • TizzyA-4 – Jen, Joel, and Teri, three of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and this was my favorite song of theirs. According to their website, Jen just brought a baby, little Josephine, into the world a couple weeks back. Congrats, Jen! She’s gonna be the best rock n’ roll mom.
  • Tugboat AnnieAdaptor – From Buffalo, then Boston. Singer Mike gave it all during this set, and by the time this song came around, his voice was a little wrecked. I’ll share the song anyway, ‘cuz it’s a good one.
  • TulipsCatch the Cradle – I don’t know what was more fun… watching Suzette prowl the stage, or watching fixated fanboys watch Suzette prowl the stage. Drummer Chris is the nicest guy to ever scare the hell outta me. One night, after a set was cut short and Chris hadn’t yet released all his pent up drumming agression, he just started chucking his set off the stage onto the floor, piece by piece. Tulips became the Daviess County Panthers, then Chris and Mike went on to be in the Takers.
  • TuscaderoMt. Pleasant – Long drive from D.C. up to Burlington, but I’m so glad they made it. I hadn’t heard them before, and was smitten by this then-new Teenbeat band.
  • the Van PeltTurning 20 into 2 – Chris Leo and Co. Such a great songwriter, I owe Colin muchly for turning me onto them. Chris eventually formed the Lapse, but I’m not quite sure what he’s up to now. Colin?
  • Yum Yum TreeGrey Day – Messy, snot-nosed girl-fronted punk outta NYC. There’s hardly any online evidence of their having existed, which would probably suit them just fine.I could ramble all day about the people I met, the bands I loved, the post-show parties, all the memories that came out of months of planning and weekends of payoff. I’ll spare you that, though.

    And yes, we made way too many t-shirts… ya want one?

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  • BOSTON-AREA LIVE SHOW ACTION
    Thursday, April 11th
    Vulture Feather
    Feep
    Trip Sitter
    Trash Sun
    @ O'Brien's

    Thursday, April 11th
    Rosali
    Verity Den
    @ the Rockwell

    Thursday, April 11th
    Hotline TNT
    Cicada
    Rabid Few
    @ the Somerville Armory

    Saturday, April 13th
    Dead Gowns
    Kathy Snax
    Hannah Mohan
    Audrey & Karina
    @ the Loft, Somerville

    Saturday, April 13th
    DARK SPRING BOSTON FEST
    with Korine, House of Harm,
    Widow Rings, Allie Frost,
    Hemlock for Socrates,
    Midnight Psychic, the
    Spearmint Sea, and more
    @ the Middle East

    Sunday, April 14th
    Woods
    Avey Tare
    @ the Sinclair

    Monday, April 15th
    Matthew Sweet
    @ the Wilbur

    Wednesday, April 17th
    Metz
    Gouge Away
    Mulva
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Wednesday, April 17th
    Real Estate
    Marina Allen
    @ the Royale

    Friday, April 19th
    Quattracenta
    Thalia Zedek Band
    Rip Room
    @ the Midway Cafe

    Friday, April 19th
    Paul Giamatti's podcast "Chinwag"
    @ the Somerville Armory

    Friday, April 19th
    Drop Nineteens
    Greg Mendez
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, April 20th Doc Hopper
    "Aloha" LP 30th anniversary with
    Shades Apart,
    Matt Charrette & the Truer Sound,
    and The Keeper Class
    @ O'Brien's

    Wednesday, April 24th
    Teen Suicide
    awakebutstillinbed
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Thursday, April 25th
    Landowner
    Autopolitan
    Uno Lady
    @ Deep Cuts

    Friday, April 26th
    Waxahatchee
    Good Morning
    @ the Orpheum

    Friday & Saturday
    April 26th & 27th
    The Town & the City Festival
    @ various venues in Lowell, MA

    Saturday, April 27th
    Kal Marks
    Grocer
    Bedroom Eyes
    Main Era
    @ O'Brien's

    Saturday, April 27th
    Belle and Sebastian
    The Weather Station
    @ the Orpheum

    Sunday, April 28th
    Yot Club
    Boyscott
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Tuesday, April 30th
    Adult Learners
    Perfectly Lethal
    Over Ends
    Free with food donation
    @ Notch Brewing Brighton

    Tuesday, April 30th
    Teenage Fanclub
    @ the Paradise

    Wednesday, May 1st
    Ty Segall
    @ the Royale

    Thursday, May 2nd
    Outer World
    @ Deep Cuts

    Thursday, May 2nd
    The Decemberists
    Ratboys
    @ Roadrunner

    Friday, May 3rd
    Ra Ra Riot
    @ the Royale

    Saturday, May 4th
    Slothrust
    Weakened Friends
    @ the Sinclair

    Saturday, May 4th
    Lisa Bastoni
    & Sean Staples
    @ the Rec Room, Belmont

    Saturday, May 4th
    The Lights Out
    Gretchen Shae & The Middle 8
    Brian K & The Parkway
    @ Faces Brewing

    Sunday, May 5th
    Sheer Mag
    Pile
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Sunday, May 5th
    CSS
    @ the Sinclair

    Monday, May 6th
    Cloud Nothings
    Hurry
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Tuesday, May 7th
    Puppy Problems
    @ the Rockwell

    Tuesday, May 7th
    Bad Religion
    Social Distortion
    (playing "Mommy's Little Monster")
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Wednesday, May 8th
    Todd Rundgren
    @ the Wilbur

    Wednesday, May 8th
    Chastity Belt
    @ the Sinclair

    Thursday, May 9th
    Cheekface
    Yungatita
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Friday, May 10th
    Hot Water Music
    30 Year Anniversary Tour
    with Quicksand
    & Off With Their Heads
    @ the Royale

    Friday, May 10th
    Sarah Shook & the Disarmers
    @ the Cut, Gloucester

    Saturday, May 11th
    Bradley's Almanac (that's me) presents...
    SAVAK
    SAMUEL s.c.
    HEY I'M OUTSIDE
    PLAZA
    8pm @ O'Brien's

    Saturday, May 11th
    Ride
    @ Big Night Live

    Saturday, May 11th
    Hallelujah the Hills
    Colleen Green
    Mallcops
    @ Deep Cuts

    Sunday, May 12th
    Sunny Day Real Estate
    @ Big Night Live

    Monday, May 13th
    High On Fire
    Zeta
    High Command
    @ the Middle East
    Monday & Tuesday
    May 13th & May 14th
    Mannequin Pussy
    Soul Glo
    @ the Sinclair

    Tuesday, May 14th
    Swans
    @ the Paradise

    Wednesday, May 15th
    Wussy (duo show)
    @ an Allston living room

    Thursday, May 16th
    Helmet
    Cro-Mags
    @ the Middle East Downstairs

    Friday, May 17th
    Neil Young
    @ the Xfinity Center

    Thursday, Friday, & Saturday
    May 16th, 17th, & 18th
    Jukebox the Ghost
    @ the Sinclair

    Friday, May 17th
    Neil Young (solo)
    @ the Xfinity Center

    Friday, May 17th
    Ringo Deathstarr
    Ovlov
    The Veldt
    @ Deep Cuts

    Friday, May 17th
    Lenny Kaye & Friends
    "A 50th Anniversary Celebration of
    Nuggets!: Classic Garage Rock Songs"
    featuring Jon Wurster, Bill Janovitz,
    Ted Leo, Josh Kantor, David Minehan,
    James Mastro, Ed Valauskas, Hugo Burnham,
    Clint Conley, Tanya Donelly, Duke Levine,
    Barrence Whitfield, Tony Goddess, Willie
    Alexander, and more to come
    @ the Cut, Gloucester

    Friday, May 17th
    Special Sapphic Pride Show
    Ruby Grove
    Galaxy Cake
    Miss Geo
    Linnea's Garden
    @ the Loft, Somerville

    Friday, May 17th
    Neil Young & Crazy Horse
    @ the Xfinity Center

    Friday, May 17th
    Buck Meek (of Big Thief)
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Saturday, May 18th
    Eldridge Rodriguez
    @ Sonia

    Saturday, May 18th
    The Messthetics
    James Brandon Lewis
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Monday, May 20th
    Echo & the Bunnymen
    @ the House of Blues

    Tuesday, May 21st
    Another Michael
    Tenci
    @ the Rockwell

    Sunday, May 26th
    Sunburned Hand of the Man
    @ the Cut, Gloucester

    Tuesday, May 28th
    Shannon & the Clams
    @ the Sinclair

    Tuesday, May 28th
    Brookline Booksmith presents...
    Kathleen Hanna
    "Rebel Girl" book tour
    @ the Wilbur

    Wednesday, May. 29th
    The Antlers &
    Okkervil River
    (solo & together tour)
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Wednesday, May 29th
    The Alarm
    Jay Aston's Gene Love Jezebel
    Belouis Some
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Wednesday, May 29th
    Madness
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Thursday, May 30th
    Camera Obscura
    @ the Paradise

    Thursday, May 30th
    Nation Of Language
    @ the Royale

    Tuesday, June 4th
    Melt-Banana
    The Flying Luttenbachers
    babyaby_explores
    @ the Sinclair

    Tuesday, June 4th
    Joe Jackson
    @ the Wilbur

    Wednesday, June 5th
    Andy Summers (The Police)
    @ Cary Hall, Lexington

    Thursday, June 6th
    Jason Narducy & Alison Chesley
    duo/reunion show
    @ Q Division Studios, Cambridge

    Thursday, June 6th
    Reverend Horton Heat
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Friday, June 7th
    Swansea Sound
    Jeanines
    @ O'Brien's

    Saturday, June 8th
    Joe Pera
    @ the Wilbur

    Saturday, June 8th
    John Cleese
    Q&A, plus a screening of
    "Monty Python & the Holy Grail"
    @ the Chevalier Theatre, Medford

    Monday, June 10th
    Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade) @ Brighton Music Hall

    Monday, June 10th
    Bleachers
    Samia
    @ MGM Music Hall

    Tuesday, June 11th
    Protomartyr
    @ the Crystal Ballroom

    Thursday, June 13th
    Jon Langford & the Bright Shiners
    @ the Cut, Gloucester

    Thursday, June 13th
    Quasi playing 'Featuring "Birds"'
    Jeffrey Lewis
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Thursday, June 13th
    Aaron West & the Roaring Twenties
    Future Teens
    Maura Weaver
    @ Brighton Music Hall

    Thursday, June 13th
    Comedy Bang! Bang!
    with Scott Aukerman & Paul F Tompkins
    @ The Wilbur

    Friday, June 14th
    Dylan Earl
    Tiger Saw
    Audrey & Karina
    & one more artist tba
    @ the Loft, Somerville

    Saturday, June 15th The Umbrellas
    @ 4th Wall
    @ the Capital Theatre, Arlington

    Sunday, June 16th
    Pixies
    Modest Mouse
    Cat Power
    @ Xfinity Center

    Wednesday, June 19th
    Future Islands
    @ Roadrunner

    Thursday, June 20th
    Roger Daltrey
    KT Tunstall
    @ the Pavilion

    Friday, June 21st
    The Church
    The Afghan Whigs
    Ed Harcourt
    @ the Royale

    Friday, June 21st
    Blushing
    Airiel
    Bodywash
    @ Deep Cuts

    Saturday, June 22nd
    Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
    playing "Shake The Sheets"
    with guests
    Ekko Astral
    @ the Paradise

    Saturday, June 22nd
    Guided By Voices
    The Moles
    @ the Royale

    Tuesday, June 25th
    Jon Anderson (of Yes)
    playing “Yes Epics, Classics, and More”
    @ the Shubert Theatre

    Tuesday, June 25th
    Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
    Courtney Marie Andrews
    @ Roadrunner

    Wednesday, June 26th
    Blue Oyster Cult
    @ the Lynn Auditorium

    Friday, June 28th
    Dry Cleaning
    @ the Paradise

    Friday, June 28th
    A Day To Remember
    The Story So Far
    Four Year Strong
    Pain of Truth
    @ Suffolk Downs

    Friday, June 28th
    Janet Jackson
    Nelly
    @ TD Garden

    Saturday, June 29th
    Buffalo Tom
    @ Boarding House Park, Lowell

    Sunday, June 30th
    Les Savy Fav
    @ Somerville Armory

    Sunday, June 30th
    Pedro the Lion
    Squirrel Flower (solo)
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Wednesday, July 3rd
    Grails
    @ Crystal Ballroom

    Tuesday, July 9th
    Alanis Morissette
    Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
    Morgan Wade
    @ the Xfinity Center

    Friday, July 14th
    Daryl Hall & Elvis Costello
    @ MGM Music Hall at Fenway

    Sunday, July 16th
    Los Campesinos!
    @ the Paradise

    Monday, July 17th
    Totally Tubular Festival Tour
    with Thomas Dolby,
    Tom Bailey (Thompson Twins),
    Modern English, The Romantics,
    Men Without Hats, & more
    @ MGM Music Hall